A land use attorney deals exclusively with specific laws that deal with the environment and how it affects the people within it. These laws include real property and the specifics that deal with leasing, improving, developing or purchasing it.
The attorney looks at many things both inside and outside of a building that can affect its safety including asbestos, lead in paint and mold. In the United States, the government has set up the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to establish regulations and rules that apply to building, renovation and destruction of building structures.
A lawyer who deals with these laws must have vast experience in the field and an innate knowledge of the laws specific to the area in which they practice. There are often entire law firms that are devoted to environmental issues and laws.
These firms have lawyers who are experts and know all of the specifics relating to federal laws such as the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Air Act. They also are knowledgeable in any environmental laws that are specific to their own particular area. Sometimes the laws in a state differ from the federal laws and these lawyers are there to help their clients distinguish between the two.
A land use attorney looks closely at both federal and state laws. If the federal law offers the greatest protection, then the state law is preempted by it. However, most states have stringent laws regarding environmental issues and they usually offer the best protection. Each state is given the power to pass its own laws that affect the environment in that particular state. The thought is that each state is familiar with its own environmental issues and that the people living within it should decide how best to protect it.
It is especially important for anyone purchasing a business to hire an attorney who knows all of the fundamentals of environmental law. Business owners must be informed about permits and compliance for the area in which they will be working.
A land use attorney will be able to help them research all of the applicable laws that relate to the land, water and air that are present on the site where their business will be located. He or she will look at these things and evaluate the impact that they will have on the owner and his business endeavor.
The average person simply doesn’t have the knowledge necessary to set up a business that is environmentally-friendly. A lawyer who has years of experience dealing with both federal and state environmental issues is a business owner’s best choice during the start-up stage of his business and for subsequent years.